Hospitalized inmate allegedly denied medical treatment - - Jackson, MS

Hospitalized inmate allegedly denied medical treatment

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FLORENCE, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A Rankin County man claims his diabetic son nearly lapsed into a coma while behind bars last week, prevented from taking his medication.

The teenager is now in a Brandon hospital.

But Rankin County authorities say the claims are not true.

Kelly Smith said his son, Joshua Kelly Smith, was denied medical treatment while in custody at the Rankin County Detention Center.

"He was treated like an animal," Smith said.

The Florence resident said Joshua is a Type 1 Diabetic who takes three insulin shots a day.

Smith said the Mendenhall High School graduate ran a red light in Florence Wednesday night and was arrested for outstanding traffic warrants.

"They assured me he would receive medical attention and that he would be took care of," Kelly Smith said. "So the next night at six o'clock, roughly 6:15, I got a call from my ex-wife screaming on the phone that my son is at Rankin Medical Center."

According to the 40 year old, his son was dropped off at Crossgates River Oaks Hospital Thursday and admitted to the Critical Care Unit.

"I do not believe he got any insulin, and he told me he did not receive any medical treatment," Smith said.

The glass work specialist said the 18 year old is now suffering from pancreatitis, and Rankin County law officers have refused to take responsibility.

Smith said he fears for the safety of inmates at the jail.

"They kept bouncing me around from the police station to the jail house, from the jail house to the police station...Back in '06 they beat me black and blue," Smith said. "I have a good friend named Ronnie Thornton that died in that jail in October of last year," said the Rankin county man.

"He wasn't beaten here in our jail. That's not true," said Rankin County Sheriff Ronnie Pennington in October of 2010 during an interview about Thornton's death.

On October 11th of last year the sheriff told WLBT that they found no evidence of Thornton being beaten.

The law officer said the autopsy reported showed that Thornton died of a heart attack.

Monday Sheriff Pennington denied Smith's the accusations.

"We have doctors and nurses on staff and we give them all proper medical treatment," Sheriff Pennington said.

Smith hopes he will be able to pay his son's fines so that he will not have to return to a jail cell.

He said he also plans to take legal action.

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